Developing Undergraduate Students' Geography Learning Skills during Fieldwork and Their Attitude toward It

Abstract

This study identified the developing of a range of students' geography learning skills and the change in their attitudes toward fieldwork as a consequence of leaning experiences that occurred within a field trip. The sample of the study consisted of (27) students within a special topic course enrolled in Geography Department at Umm Al-Qura University in Saudi Arabia in semester 2, 2018. A range of students' geography learning skills were measured by the skills questionnaire that consisted of 12 geography skills after completing field work. Changes in students' attitudes towards fieldwork was measured through a modified version of Boyle et al.'s (2007) attitudes instrument at the beginning and at the end of the field trip. Interviews were used to enhance the studies' instruments as a data gathering technique. The findings of the study showed that students developed the all geography learning skills, where more than 95% of students felt that they developed their basic problem solving, sampling, measuring & recording, survey methods, information gathering, data analysis, safety and communication & transferable skills. While 92% of students developed observation and integration skill, 90% developed identification skills, 89% developed experimental design skill, and finally, 76% developed interpretation skill. The students increased their enjoyment (t=12.77, p<0.001) as a consequence of doing fieldwork. A similar result was produced for collaboration (t=14.44, p<0.001) over the field trip. The students' responses of interviews questions supported quantitative results.